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Acts 10:11-15

10:11 He 1  saw heaven 2  opened 3  and an object something like a large sheet 4  descending, 5  being let down to earth 6  by its four corners. 10:12 In it 7  were all kinds of four-footed animals and reptiles 8  of the earth and wild birds. 9  10:13 Then 10  a voice said 11  to him, “Get up, Peter; slaughter 12  and eat!” 10:14 But Peter said, “Certainly not, Lord, for I have never eaten anything defiled and ritually unclean!” 13  10:15 The voice 14  spoke to him again, a second time, “What God has made clean, you must not consider 15  ritually unclean!” 16 

Acts 10:28

10:28 He said to them, “You know that 17  it is unlawful 18  for a Jew 19  to associate with or visit a Gentile, 20  yet God has shown me that I should call no person 21  defiled or ritually unclean. 22 

1 tn Grk “And he.” Because of the length of the Greek sentence, the conjunction καί (kai) has not been translated here. Instead a new English sentence is begun.

2 tn Or “the sky” (the same Greek word means both “heaven” and “sky”).

3 tn On the heavens “opening,” see Matt 3:16; Luke 3:21; Rev 19:11 (cf. BDAG 84 s.v. ἀνοίγω 2). This is the language of a vision or a revelatory act of God.

4 tn Or “a large linen cloth” (the term was used for the sail of a ship; BDAG 693 s.v. ὀθόνη).

5 tn Or “coming down.”

6 tn Or “to the ground.”

7 tn Grk “in which.” The relative pronoun was replaced by the pronoun “it,” and a new sentence was begun in the translation at this point to improve the English style.

8 tn Or “snakes.” Grk “creeping things.” According to L&N 4.51, in most biblical contexts the term (due to the influence of Hebrew classifications such as Gen 1:25-26, 30) included small four-footed animals like rats, mice, frogs, toads, salamanders, and lizards. In this context, however, where “creeping things” are contrasted with “four-footed animals,” the English word “reptiles,” which primarily but not exclusively designates snakes, is probably more appropriate. See also Gen 6:20, as well as the law making such creatures unclean food in Lev 11:2-47.

9 tn Grk “the birds of the sky” or “the birds of the heaven”; the Greek word οὐρανός (ouranos) may be translated either “sky” or “heaven,” depending on the context. The idiomatic expression “birds of the sky” refers to wild birds as opposed to domesticated fowl (cf. BDAG 809 s.v. πετεινόν).

10 tn Grk “And there came.” The introductory phrase ἐγένετο (egeneto, “it happened that”), common in Luke (69 times) and Acts (54 times), is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.

11 tn Grk “a voice to him”; the word “said” is not in the Greek text but is implied.

12 tn Or “kill.” Traditionally θῦσον (quson) is translated “kill,” but in the case of animals intended for food, “slaughter” is more appropriate.

13 tn Possibly there is a subtle distinction in meaning between κοινός (koinos) and ἀκάθαρτος (akaqarto") here, but according to L&N 53.39 it is difficult to determine precise differences in meaning based on existing contexts.

sn Peter insisted he would not violate the law by eating anything defiled and ritually unclean. These food laws were one of the practices that distinguished Jews from their Gentile neighbors. The practice made table fellowship with Gentiles awkward. For an example of Jewish attitudes to this, see Dan 1:8-16; 1 Macc 1:41-64; Letter of Aristeas 142; Tacitus, History 5.5.

14 tn Grk “And the voice.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.

15 tn Or “declare.”

16 sn For the significance of this vision see Mark 7:14-23; Rom 14:14; Eph 2:11-22. God directed this change in practice.

17 tn Here ὡς (Jws) is used like ὅτι (Joti) to introduce indirect discourse (cf. BDAG 1105 s.v. ὡς 5).

18 tn This term is used of wanton or callously lawless acts (BDAG 24 s.v. ἀθέμιτος).

19 tn Grk “a Jewish man” (ἀνδρὶ ᾿Ιουδαίῳ, andri Ioudaiw).

20 tn Grk “a foreigner,” but in this context, “a non-Jew,” that is, a Gentile. This term speaks of intimate association (BDAG 556 s.v. κολλάω 2.b.α). On this Jewish view, see John 18:28, where a visit to a Gentile residence makes a Jewish person unclean.

21 tn This is a generic use of ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo").

22 tn Possibly there is a subtle distinction in meaning between κοινός (koinos) and ἀκάθαρτος (akaqartos) here, but according to L&N 53.39 it is difficult to determine precise differences in meaning based on existing contexts.

sn God has shown me…unclean. Peter sees the significance of his vision as not about food, but about open fellowship between Jewish Christians and Gentiles.

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